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Updated: Jul 17, 2022

“There is just too much thought in my head

I wanna be numb” - The Pet Shop Boys

Taken from the beautiful Pet Shop Boys song ‘Numb’, these lyrics point to how many of us feel from time to time.

Feeling NOTHING is better than feeling what we are feeling.

But this is part of the trap I often talk about.

A few years back I was coaching a young lady. She had decided to come of her anti-depressants with the support of her GP.

She told me one day that as the effects of the medication wore off, she was start to feel things she hadn’t felt in a long time. And this got her scared. Understandably it felt quite overwhelming to suddenly have all of these new felt experiences.

Like the Pet Shop Boys, sometimes she would just rather be Numb.

What I pointed her towards was simply this:

Feelings are there to be felt. We get to decide which are ‘good’ and which are ‘bad’.

But we confuse ourselves.

We say that we don’t want to be scared but we ride rollercoasters, watch thrillers and horror movies, and often put ourselves in perilous positions simply to have the adrenaline rush.

We say we don’t want to feel sad but many of us like a good old cry now and then. We watch tear-jerker movies, and listen to sad songs that stir up emotions.

Why is it OK to sometimes feel these emotions and at other times it is ‘wrong’?

If you have read any of my other blogs, or my book ‘The Overwhelmed Manager’ then you will be pointed towards a universal truth.

Feelings are just a signpost telling us what we are thinking. Nothing else. We make all the rest up. It’s all nonsense.

100% (not 99.9%) of our feeling is generated by our thought.

Our EXPERIENCES of life is being generated by THOUGHT, and then FELT.

And as the great Sydney Banks said:

‘If the only thing people learnt was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world’

There is no need to feel numb when we realise we are only ever feeling our thinking.

And that is rather profound and beautiful

Martyn Dawes is a Coach, Social Care Consultant, and Author of The Overwhelmed Manager: What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

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